Earlier today, we unveiled the 2015 100 Best Restaurants in America, and as diverse as the list is, there is an abundance of common features at the winners, from the food to the setting and beyond.
In contrast to our 2015 100 Best Restaurants for Foodies, which showcased newer eateries serving smaller plates in more casual settings, these honorees are less chef-driven and more about the overall experience (although you will absolutely find top-flight chefs behind the burners (like Daniel Humm). Everything is on point, every moment and bite carefully orchestrated. These are the restaurants where we go to celebrate special occasions as well as to make any day seem extraordinary. Read on to discover the top trends at the 2015 100 Best Restaurants in America.
LUXE INGREDIENTS LIKE LOBSTER + FOIE GRAS
This may be the year of the wood sheep, but if the menus at this year’s winners are any indication, it was more like the year of the lobster. Maine lobster trappers have taken in another epic haul and demand is on the rise at top restaurants. And with the ban on foie gras repealed in California, it seems more fashionable than ever, despite the controversy surrounding it.
Seen at: Bouchard Restaurant and Inn, Joseph Tambellini, Laurel, Norman’s at the Ritz-Carlton, o ya, Sonoma, and Yono’s Restaurant, among others.
Do you like to dress for dinner? Then you’re in luck. Don your jackets and ties. Bust out that LBD. And head to one of the many honorees that indicate a jacket is required or preferred (apologies to Phil Collins).
Seen at: Addison Restaurant, Chez Francois, Del Posto, The French Room, L’Auberge Chez François, and Quince Restaurant, among others.
Nearly three years ago, writer Corby Kummer started a rhubarb of epic proportion when he came out against the so-called tyranny of the tasting menu in an article in Vanity Fair. And, yet the tasting menu is alive and well at the winning restaurants, with many offering it alongside an a la carte or prix-fixe choice. In fact, it is the only option several restaurants provide, reflecting diners’ desire for a more curated experience that tasting menus allow.
Seen at: Atera, Castagna Restaurant, The Cellars, Fearrington House Restaurant, n/naka, and Vetri, among others.
Look over your shoulder, New York. The PHL is gaining on you. Seven (!) of the 2015 100 Best Restaurants are located in the City of Brotherly Love (which we should maybe call the City of Culinary Love). From Kate Jacoby and Rich Landau’s plant-forward Vedge, which has made a national splash and ignited our appetites for vegetables, to longtime local fine dining fave Vetri, this town stands on its own merits and is no longer New York City’s sixth borough.
Seen at: Laurel, Vernick Food & Drink, Volver, Talula’s Garden, and Zahav, also.
Moo-ve over, beef. Game meats are pushing you to the margins of the menu. Diners are finally catching on to what chefs have known all along – game’s got game. With selections such as venison, quail, rabbit, and elk staking claim to entrée offerings, steak knives just may need a new moniker.
Seen at: Ambience, Artisanal Restaurant, Forage, Marché Moderne, Restaurant Lorena’s, and Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern, among others.Continue Reading